by Robert Holman. This post is a full review following my first-look of the Kocaso M730W a few weeks ago.
Let’s be honest, when a tablet is only $149.99 we don’t expect it to do a whole lot. Maybe it will make for a good eBook reader, probably decent when it comes to music, but below mediocre for anything else. Let me tell you right now that the M730W Android Tablet from Kocaso blew the doors right off the hinges.
To start, most tablets in this price range will feature a processor that runs around 800MHz. This is okay if you plan on doing some light work with the tablet, such as reading an eBook, checking mail, or even doing some limited web browsing. Out of the box, the M730W features a 1200MHz processor, giving you the ability to do much more with it. What exactly, pray tell? Movies, games, music, and more! Before we get into that, though, let’s take a look at the rest of its features.
Internally there is 4GB of storage, but you can only truly utilize 2GB as the first half is in use by the operating system. This, however, isn’t a big problem as most apps are not very large, and there is already a large host of apps preinstalled (the average Android app is about 4-5MB in size). As for system memory (or RAM), there is 512MB total, some of which is used by the system. This leaves about 314MB for application use.
Although there is a limited amount of internal storage, you will find, on the bottom of the M730W, a MicroSD card slot which supports up so 32GB of storage. This makes it handy if you want to carry a lot of music or movies to listen to or watch when you’re on the go. If you’re a parent, you know this is a no-brainer as it will give your child or children something to watch on those long trips.
The 7” capacitive touch screen is very responsive, and also features multi-touch capabilities. This may not sound like much, but there are plenty of tablets in this price category that do not have multi-touch. This oversight does a great disservice to a lot of manufacturers as there are many applications that require multi-touch capability. It may not seem significant, but it’s nice when you can just “pinch” the screen to zoom in and out on a web page.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread is installed on this modestly priced tablet. The screen is nice and vibrant, bright, and you don’t have to strain your eyes to see things on the screen. Compared to my phone, which is running Android 2.2 Froyo, the Kocaso M730W runs the Android operating system almost perfectly. The only change that I made to the looks were downloading and installing GOLauncher EX (which I will go over another day).
With the right app, you and a friend (or just yourself, if you prefer) could have a lot of fun with this tablet and it’s forward facing camera. You can even use Skype to video chat with a friend, so long as you have an account. Unfortunately the front facing camera is the only one you’ll find. Sorry, no back facing camera for you. (The following photo was taken with the Kocaso's camera)
I haven’t used the Amazon Kindle Fire yet, myself, but after letting my dad, who has, and then letting him use the Kocaso M730W, his reaction was amazing. He couldn’t believe how well it ran compared to the Fire. He told me that browsing the web with the Fire was very slow, and you would be waiting much longer for a page to load compared to the M730W which took nearly no time at all.
One of the benefits I’ve found with the Kocaso M730W is that it is “blessed” by Google. Now, you may be asking what exactly it is I’m talking about, and this is what I will tell you: unlike most low-cost tablets that don’t have the Google Marketplace, the M730W does. This gives you the advantage of being able to download and/or purchase official Android applications instead of what the manufacturer wants you to download and/or use.
As great a tablet as I like to think it is, the M730W does have some pitfalls, such as when you first purchase the tablet. When I first turned it on, I was certain there was something wrong with it because the screen had lines going through it. Not to worry, though, because as time went on the lines went away. I do not know if this occurs with most other tablets, but I know it did not do this with my phone.
If you’re looking to charge it with the supplied power adapter, then I would recommend you do so when you are not planning on using the M730W at all. I know that it is not just mine, but when the power adapter is plugged in, you cannot use it at all without pressing something you know you didn’t, such as you can press an icon in the middle of the screen, and it may scroll, or even press a different button, somewhere. It will, however, charge via USB also, of which it has no problems doing.
Another problem I have come across is trying to use it during updates. It isn’t going to happen, or at least not without having a large pauses in between actions. This isn’t really a major problem, though, as you shouldn’t really be doing anything during application updates, anyway.
If you plan on putting a MicroSD card in, be prepared to do so with a thin object of some kind, or even your fingernail if you have one long enough. The MicroSD card sits well within the confines of the tablet, and trying to just simply put it in with your finger alone, again, isn’t going to happen. As I stated with the updates, though, this shouldn’t be a problem. In most cases, you put the card in once and never remove it again.
The other issue I’ve run into, and this is with an application on the tablet, is trying to play Netflix. After viewing a video for about 30 seconds, the audio will get ahead of the video (or perhaps it’s the video falling behind the audio). Regardless, this can become a bit of a bother, although at this point I believe it has something to do with Netflix and not the M730W, because if you watch video straight from the device, or even through the YouTube application, the video plays back with no problems.
All-in-all, the Kocaso M730W has been a great tablet so far. It does not feel like a $150 tablet. When you pick one up and hold it in your hands, the build quality feels very solid and there are many options in this tablet. It also appears that if you were to take it to a mobile carrier, you could have a SIM card installed giving the M730W the ability to go mobile without relying on a wireless signal. This, however, should not be a problem as most everywhere you go now has wireless access of some kind. If you can find one, I would highly recommend picking one up today.